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43rd Annual Show Of The Triveni School Of Dance

Chetna Naimi

On Sunday, October 20th, a warm fall afternoon, the Strand Theatre in Boston was alive with hundreds of dancers dressed in their vibrant classical Indian Bharatnatyam costumes, their families beaming with pride, taking pictures in elaborate poses, and over 1200 mesmerized audiences soaking up the beauty, colors and tinkling sounds of classical dance bells “ghungharoo”. This was the 43rd Annual Show of the Triveni School of Dance, based in Brookline, MA. Founded in 1971 by Ms. Neena Gulati, an acclaimed dancer from New Delhi, the school has become an icon for learning classical Indian dance for hundreds of children and their families of South Asian origin and beyond.

Bharatanatyam, one of the ancient dance art in the world originated in the southern part of India and has devotional roots that tell the stories of Hindu deities and their connection to everyday lives. The 2019 annual show held on October 20th, highlighted and provided a platform to 360 Triveni students, ages 5 years to 60 years who performed 20 different dances showcasing dance styles of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi. The youngest students commenced the event with their endearing “Sundance”; the mid-level students demonstrated an elaborate “Thillana”; and the most experienced ones put on a spectacular performance of “Dasavatar- a story of ten incarnations of Vishnu”. A captivated audience applauded with passion and zeal after each performance.

Ms. Gulati, has been teaching this graceful and intricate dance to hundreds of children from all over New England for over five decades. Fondly known as Neena Auntie by her students and their families, she is a true “Guru” to her students who embodies a fine balance between the composure of a sage and perseverance and intensity of the “Nataraja-the God of Dance”,


The success of the annual show is never ending work that goes on all year long by Neena auntie and her dedicated team of ten teachers, who put in countless of hours of planning in its seamless implementation. This team of ten teachers provide soulful dance instructions to Triveni students throughout the school year, some of them driving from Maine and other parts of New England on a weekly basis, these teachers also meticulously work on detail from timely booking a suitable venue, dance costumes, jewelry, makeup advice, group choreography and the rehearsal day planning, etc., they give their all. Notable thing is that not long ago, many of these dance teachers themselves were students of Neena Auntie, with their connection dating over two to three decades.

According to one parent, whose two daughters have been taking lessons from Neena Auntie for four years, she notices a new level of self-assurance and confidence and a sense of accomplishment in her daughters that comes from hours of preparation, rehearsal and performance alongside their peers in front of a large crowd. The sheer love and respect for Neena Gulati is palpable among her students and their families. One of the parents shared the following sentiment, “Congratulations Neena ji, to all your teachers and entire team. What an evening full of magnificently choreographed dancers. You connected each performance with your graceful, energetic and vibrant narration. No words can ever convey the stupendous efforts that you and your team took to make this Annual show a grand success. Not only it gives an opportunity to young and aspiring dancers but is it is also a platform for all accomplished dancers to cherish this divine art that forges oneness with Lord Natesha. Thank you again”- Tushar Pandit, Triveni Parent

As hundreds of radiant and delighted dancers showcase their art, one can’t help but feel that the spirit of Nataraj itself has descended on to the stage to become one with the dancers, their mind, body and soul!




(Photos by Santosh Dawesar, Soft Foto Media. )

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